Never a good time to quit

By all accounts, I am not the only one who feels like that occasionally.

It is in these times, that we truly need a mentor. For me, and I would recommend for you, there is only one kind of mentor that is worth any value… the one who has been where you are at or want to be. The person with experience in your very circumstance.

On our world-record paramotor expedition in Australia I wanted to quit. We were 70 per cent complete, but were struggling with some equipment challenges. I could not think of a way out. 

I texted my wife back in Canada: “Gotta quit; our equipment is broken."

A few second later I received the uplifting reply: “If you think you are coming back to this house without a Guinness World Record after all the money we have spent and the time we have invested, think again!” 

Looking for an easy way out, I texted my main sponsor in the U.K. who would have been in bed at 3 a.m. “Jim, we can’t finish; we are unable to start the motors."

Jim’s response (within a few seconds) was: “Don’t quit. I will ship two motors to you overnight, you are so close; you can do it."

Add to that two Facebook messages that randomly dropped in to my account from friends in Canada at that exact time. They were both extremely encouraging and the support made me rethink my decision to quit.

At that time, I remembered reading a book — Tough Times Never Last Tough People Do — and I followed one of the tips in the book.

I wrote a list of 10 ways to overcome the problem. The list could include crazy ideas, but I wrote them down anyway. It is not really a surprise, but one of them worked.

We were back in the game and went on to claim a new world record.

The same is true in business. You can feel like all the cards are stacked against you and give in too quickly. You need to build three key elements in to your plan to overcome those feelings of failure:

  • A supportive network that has bought in to your vision.
  • A group of mentors you can reach out to in a similar field
  • A thick skin. Don’t let you feelings overwhelm your ability to dig out of the hole you feel you might be in.

Even in bankruptcy, you are still dealing with assets that have value and there is always a way out if you keep a cool head and have the above network and thought processes in place.

Famed hotelier Conrad Hilton, who was responsible for developing the world’s first global hotel chain, was extremely successful until the Great Depression.

Because of the turn in revenues, the banks seized his assets. He was forced in to bankruptcy.

But he knew his business. He did not go and crawl into a hole and quit. He put himself back on his feet, started again and eventually acquired all of his properties from the bank. 

He died one of the wealthiest men of his generation not that many years later.


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About the Author

Mark has been an entrepreneur for over forty years. His experience spans many commercial sectors and aspects of business. He was one of the youngest people to be appointed as a Fellow of the prestigious Institute of Sales and Marketing Management before he left the UK in 1988.

His column focuses on ways we can improve on success in our lives. Whether it is business, relationships, or health, Mark has a well-rounded perspective on how to stay focused for growth and development.

His influences come from the various travels he undertakes as an adventurer, philanthropist and keynote speaker. More information can be found on Mark at his website www.markjenningsbates.com

He is a Venture Partner with www.DutchOracle.com a global Alternative Investment company.

Mark Jennings-Bates:
[email protected]

Photo credit: www.SteveAustin.ca 

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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